What You Need to Know: Public Health and Safety
We must think differently, take specific health and safety measures and work together to protect our community.
Fall Semester Plans
- The University plans to follow all health and safety protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on all campuses.
- The University also anticipates current policies will remain in effect at the start of the semester for things such as mask wearing, contact tracing, quarantining and travel.
- The University will continuously monitor public health guidance and disease transmission rates to make final determinations on health and safety policies in the weeks ahead.
- At this time, WVU is not requiring vaccination, but it is strongly recommended.
- All students, faculty and staff are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must verify their vaccination with the University by Aug. 1. Those who do not complete the verification process will be considered unvaccinated this fall.
- If you are fully vaccinated and verify your vaccination with the University, the following will apply:
- immunized individuals will not be required to undergo campus re-entry testing in the fall;
- immunized individuals will not be required to undergo surveillance testing during the semester;
- immunized individuals will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone else with COVID; and
- immunized individuals will not be required to quarantine following travel.
Health and Safety Basics
- Protect yourself and others by avoiding the "Three Cs" (close, continuous contact with others, crowds and close spaces).
- Maintain responsible personal hygiene.
- Strive to maintain a 6 foot separation to the fullest possible extent. The greater the physical distance from others, the lesser the risk of transmission.
- All WVU community members must wear face masks or coverings.
WVU will provide free testing throughout the year, focusing on three major areas:
- Rapid testing for anyone who exhibits any symptoms.
- Frequent, ongoing testing for groups that may be at higher risk.
- Ongoing surveillance testing throughout the campus community during the school year.
If You Test Positive
- All positive cases, including results from third-parties outside the WVU testing system, must be reported to the University.
- The local health department will contact any individual who tests positive for COVID-19, complete an initial case investigation and initiate contact tracing.
- The University will support these efforts by providing contact information, personnel and other resources as requested.
- WVU Student Health and Student Life will work with students on procedures for isolation and return to class.
- Supervisors and Shared Services will work with employees on procedures for isolation and return to work guidance.
- Units and supervisors should ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of all students and employees is maintained during any efforts to identify potential close contacts.
Contact Tracing and Quarantine
While COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease, the best evidence indicates that the disease is unlikely to spread through casual contact.
The goal of contact tracing is to identify, through a series of interviews, those individuals who have had significant close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
In these situations, close contact is defined as:
- Having been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
- A person can be determined a close contact up to 2 days before illness onset and/or test date of an infected person.
What to Do If ...
When to Quarantine
- You must quarantine if you experience COVID-19 symptoms or have had direct contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
- Until a formal case investigation and contact tracing can be completed, all those who are known or suspected to have been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 should undergo a 14-day quarantine/monitoring period.
- You will have the opportunity to shorten your quarantine time to 10 days if you have no symptoms during the 10-day period, receive a negative RT-PCR test result on day 6-7 and follow all safety measures — including daily symptom monitoring — through day 14.
- If you are considered a close contact of someone who tests positive for a variant of COVID-19, you must quarantine for the full 14-day period due to added concern of increased transmission of variants.
- Contacts of contacts (e.g., secondary contacts), or brief contacts with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, are generally not felt to be at high risk of infection.
- Therefore, unless the health department identifies that a specific outbreak situation warrants further action, the University will not seek to identify casual contacts or secondary contacts.
- Units may advise employees and students to monitor their own health for the development of any symptoms, but quarantine procedures are not required for these types of contacts.
- Individuals who have received both doses of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine are not required to quarantine following exposure to someone with COVID-19 as long as they remain asymptomatic, are beyond two weeks following the receipt of their second vaccine and are within three months following the receipt of their second vaccine.
What to do if You're in Quarantine
- All WVU community members are required to report if they are quarantining due to suspected or known exposure to COVID-19.
- Students and employees should notify Shared Services at CareServices@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-6006.
- Be sure to answer or return all follow-up calls from WVU Shared Services (304-293-1003 and 304-293-6006).
- Students who become aware outside of the University that they have had a positive exposure, are a close contact or are instructed to quarantine by a physician should also notify the CARE Team for all necessary resources.
- Individuals who meet the criteria for close contacts may be released from quarantine after 10 days if they were not a close contact of someone who tested positive for a variant of COVID-19, have no symptoms during the 10-day period, receive a negative RT-PCR test result on day 6-7 and follow all safety measures — including daily symptom monitoring — through day 14.
- Supervisors and Shared Services will work with employees on procedures for quarantine and return to work guidance.
Student and Employee Accommodations
Accommodations and Modifications
- According to the CDC, older adults and individuals with underlying conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection.
- Employees: See Workplace Accommodations and Modifications for more.
- Students: Contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 304-293-6700 or visit the Accessibility Services website for more information.
Flexible Learning and Working Environments
- Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the drastic alteration of patterns of work, transportation, family support, childcare, travel and other fundamental modes of life, we expect our leaders, managers, supervisors, faculty members and researchers to model flexibility and foster a community of wellness and awareness to the maximum extent possible.
- Flexibility includes the readiness to immediately adapt to changing circumstances by implementing more restrictions and/or returning quickly to safer at home guidelines.
COVID-19 Education Module
- All faculty, staff and students will be required to complete an updated COVID-19 education module before the fall semester.
- Details on when the module is available will be shared this summer.
Enforcement of COVID-19 Protocols
Employees and students are accountable for following these requirements:
- COVID-19 education module
- COVID-19 test and subsequent testing
- Self-reporting a positive COVID-19 test result
- Isolation and quarantine periods
- Contact tracing efforts
- Proper use of masks/face coverings
- Local, state and federal physical distancing and maximum crowd size orders
- Wellness checks
Student Policies and Penalties
- Health and Safety Policies (for all students)
- Residence Hall Health and Safety Policies (for students living in residence halls)
Employee Policies and Penalties
- Employees who fail to abide by the safety protocols described in the WVU Return to On-Campus Work Playbook will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including warning, suspension, termination or other disciplinary action as appropriate.
- Enforcement guidelines for employees will be unveiled closer to the start of the fall semester.
Reporting Violations of COVID-19 Protocols
- If you see a violation of University, local or state health and safety guidelines, please follow the steps for reporting violations.
Stop the Spread
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